The world believes in something that is quite different from what the truth is. The world believes that God exists in temples, churches or mosques. Such places are all man-made whereas God created everything that we experience. Therefore, limiting the existence of God and the influence of God within the temple walls or to a structure is ignorance. God is everywhere – that is why we say Shivoham and praise Shiva in adoration saying Om Namah Shivaya. The iconic Shiva statue is present in the sanctuary of our temple, but we must understand that Shiva is in everyone and everywhere, all-encompassing. We build our faith through the form of Lord Shiva, but we must understand that God, the Divine power that created all of the cosmos is formless.
God is a power beyond our comprehension and way beyond our imagination. God is vast! We are incapable of explaining God or understanding God. Therefore, how does one achieve spiritual fulfillment? How can one truly believe? Spiritual fulfillment can be achieved in 10 simple steps.
The 1st step is to understand God. Who is God? God is a Creator, a Power. God need not be given names because nobody knows exactly who God is, but we all know that the Power exists. We don’t know where or what, but we are sure that somebody made the whole universe and made you and me. Therefore, we must first understand that there is a Creator whom we call God!
The 2nd step is to love God – this is the next step after accepting that there is God; a Creator. While the first step is to understand, the second step is to love God. This happens when we live with the knowledge that there is a Creator whom we call God who created everything. So the second step is to desire and welcome this Power and make this Power real in our life.
The 3rd step is Belief in this Power. While the first step is to understand that the Power exists and the second step is to accept that Power; we actually progress when we believe in this Power. At this stage, all our feelings, actions and behaviors show that we understand and accept God. This is a step that takes us forward in the journey of spiritual fulfillment. Those who believe in God don’t doubt. They understand that the Sun, the Moon, the stars, the birds and the flowers are all creations of the Creator. Their entire life is a testimony to the existence of the Power; the Creator. So now that you Understand, Accept and Believe- What next? The next step, the 4th step, to spiritual fulfillment is to have Faith. What is Faith? FAITH is an acronym for Full Assurance in the Heart- and now you put your faith in the Power. There is no doubt; you are completely and unconditionally confident about that Power. You know that the Power is supreme and you know that the Power can do anything. Your entire life is thus lived in a way that you have no fear; you have no doubt because you have full assurance in your heart.
After you Understand, Accept and Believe that a Power exists, and you have Faith that this Power is very strong and is in complete control of the universe; then the 5th step is that you must have Hope. You must live Having Only Positive Expectations. You must have hope that the Creator is a Power beyond human imagination and this Creator can do anything. Your hope is capable of hoping for the impossible. It is capable of asking for miracles if you believe that it is possible. If you have hope, you believe that the sky is not the limit. Of course, all expectations must be Positive for hope to work. Halfway down spiritual fulfillment, the 6th step is to have Trust. TRUST is Total Reliance and Unconditional Surrender To the Creator. Trust is never 99.9%; it is either 100% or 0. Therefore Trust, and Trust completely, if you want to be a true believer who aspires to attain spiritual fulfillment. You must trust this Power so much that nothing should be able to make you lose your courage, confidence, hope and faith. Your trust in the Creator must be so complete that there shouldn’t be even an iota of doubt or hesitation in your life. When you live this way, with trust; you are surely on your way to spiritual fulfillment. Once you have finished these 6 steps, you go on to live the 7th step – Enthusiasm. When you have “en theos” (“in God”) it means you live in God, believe in God, trust in God, hope in God and have faith in God.
After you climb the first 7 steps- when you Understand, Accept, Believe, live with Faith, Hope, Trust and Enthusiasm; you then go on to the 8th step – Surrender- complete surrender. Like a feather surrenders itself to the air or like a leaf that surrenders itself to the sea; you are tossed around in your life because you surrender, you let go and let God take charge. The 9th, pre-concluding, step is to Accept – Accept the will of God. “Thy will, not mine, be done, Oh Lord!” let these words be the philosophy of your life. Live life accepting everything that God does, knowing that the Creator, the Master, knows better. Whatever happened yesterday was for your good and whatever will happen tomorrow, will happen for your good too. Don’t accept grudgingly but with joy, and you will soon arrive at Spiritual Fulfillment. Finally, if you are truly keen to achieve spiritual fulfillment, then the 10th, final step is LIVE WITH GOD. Start your day with God and end your day with God. Live each and every moment with God. Feel the presence of God as you breathe, walk, talk, pray and as you rejoice. Whatever you do, let God be with you. Tell yourself, “I am not alone, God is with me”, for God is with you if you are a true believer. God is with you as long as you think of Him, the moment your mind gets distracted, the connection breaks. Although God still takes care of you even when you forget him, the connection definitely breaks. If the connection with God breaks, you cannot achieve spiritual fulfillment until you reconnect. Take this journey of spiritual fulfillment. Let these 10 steps transform your life from Religion to Spirituality.